Yesterday (June 13, 2022), a 20-year-old was sentenced to 99 years for the murder of a 10-year-old girl in the village of Quinhagak in 2020.
Fairbanks Superior Court Judge Michael MacDonald sentenced Jordan Mark to 99 years to serve for one count of murder in the first degree. No trial took place. Court proceedings occurred in Bethel.
Mark previously pleaded to murder in the first degree and signed an admission of facts admitting to kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and murdering 10-year-old Ida “Girlie” Aguchak on March 15, 2020.
In handing down the sentence, Judge MacDonald found that Mr. Mark was a worst offender. “These actions demonstrate a depravity of heart and derangement of mind that makes Jordan Mark too dangerous to live in a civil society,” said Judge MacDonald. “It is impossible to imagine a more depraved, brutal, cold-hearted kidnapping, rape, and murder. It is hard to imagine greater cruelty. This was deliberate cruelty. It is hard to imagine a more vulnerable victim.”
During the sentencing, members of Ida’s family spoke to the court and asked for the 99-year-sentence. Ida’s father, Luther Aguchak, told the court that Ida wanted to grow up to be a nurse and help people. Mr. Aguchak turned to the defendant and said he “took a whole portion of my life away from me.”
Ida’s sister, Meta Williams, noted that Ida, the baby of the family, was her biggest wish in life and that she was looking forward to seeing her sister grow up and wanted to be there for her through life’s trials and tribulations. Ms. Williams said to Mr. Mark, “I will work on forgiving you and forgiving myself for feeling this way. This is the first and last time I will be seeing you.” Betty Williams, Ida’s mother, told the court that what happened to Ida “broke our family and our community as well as his own family. She was taken too soon. We are still broken from this.”
Mr. Mark asked the court to sentence him to 45 years to serve for the offense. In his allocution statement to the court, Mr. Mark stated “I apologize for the pain I caused and the hearts I broke.” He went on to say “There is no excuse for what I’ve done. I hope you see past that and see who I actually am. I’m a human being. I made a terrible mistake.”
Members of Mr. Mark’s family submitted letters to the court and spoke on his behalf. They expressed sorrow and remorse for the victim’s family and asked for mercy on behalf of Mr. Mark.
The State asked the court to impose a 99-year sentence. Prosecutor Bailey Woolfstead argued that Mr. Mark made a series of deliberate choices throughout the night of March 15, 2020, as well as during the week following that showed he was not amenable to rehabilitation.
She noted that Mr. Mark lured Ida onto his four wheeler by deception by offering her a ride home, that he continued the kidnapping after Ida tried to run away from him, and that Mr. Mark sexually assaulted and intentionally murdered her.
The State also emphasized that Mr. Mark lied to local law enforcement when he claimed to have searched the area where he knew Ida’s body was during search efforts, and that he pointed the State Troopers to an innocent person as a suspect in order to draw suspicion away from him. The State argued that Mr. Mark deserved the highest sentence because he continuously chose violence and showed a shocking disregard for the consent, safety, and the life of Ida Aguchak in every decision he made on March 15, 2020, as well as during his attempts to cover up his crimes.
Assistant Attorney General Bailey Woolfstead, with the Office of Special Prosecutions, prosecuted the case and Assistant District Attorney Joshua Bither of the Bethel District Attorney’s Office.